What Are The Advantages of Polymer IR Inspection Windows?
Your company’s reliability officer stated that the company is replacing calendar-based maintenance procedures with a Condition-Based Maintenance Program in 2019 to maximize efficiency, increase safety and save money. Electrical Maintenance Safety Devices, such as Infrared Inspection (IR) Windows, allow for real time, infrared data to be collected on energized electrical assets in a closed and guarded condition. Your company has purchased and completed installation of polymer IR Inspection Windows on critical electrical assets. At the next maintenance team meeting, training will be provided on how to conduct inspections using the new polymer IR Windows. The last company you worked for utilized crystal IR windows. Your curiosity prompted research into the polymer IR windows and why they are preferred over crystal IR windows. Let’s see what you uncovered in your research.
A previous article described IR Window Lens Materials and that the choice of lens materials is driven by the application of the window, environmental factors, wavelengths to be measured and cost. Polymer IR Windows are well suited for industrial environments because they are unaffected by mechanical stress, moisture, humidity, sea water and a broad range of acids and alkalis.
Your research found 10 advantages attributed to the polymer IR windows:
- Durable and rugged; able to withstand impact and vibration
- Polymers enable larger windows to be manufactured increasing the inspection area (Field of View)
- Fixed and Stable Transmission Rate (FAST) that is unaffected by mechanical stresses and humidity
- Works with all ranges of IR, Ultraviolet and Visual Inspection cameras
- Successfully Arc Containment Tested in metalclad and arc resistant switchgear
- Received the most certifications in the industry
- Can be custom manufactured to any size, shape and color
- Anti-fogging compared to crystal lens materials that fog due to high humidity
- More affordable than crystal IR windows
- Have an unconditional lifetime warranty
Recently, crystal lens window manufacturers such as FLIR have recognized the advantages of the patented polymer infrared windows and are now offering them to their customers (https://www.flir.com/products/irw-x/).
Since some of your co-workers have previous experience with crystal lens IR windows, you will bring this information to the training meeting, so everyone can understand the advantages of the polymer IR windows.
Polymer Infrared Inspection Windows allow for inspections of electrical assets under closed and guarded conditions resulting in time savings, cost savings and improvements in safety procedures. The advantages of the patented polymer lens material versus crystal lens material are numerous and should be the lens material of choice for industrial applications.